The Bush Company Alpha Tent - Owner Impressions

Kiomon

Adventurer
Hi! I am contemplating the Bush Company Alpha tent, and I wanted to hear form current owners.

1. What other tents did you consider? Why did the Alpha win out?
2. How has it held up to use? Any points of wear you see?
3. How comfortable is the tent to use and sleep in? Any improvements or enhancements you would recommend?
4. Anyone have one of these on truck? Pics?
5. How was your install? Did you do it yourself or pay to have it done?

Basically looking for owner reviews and impressions on the tent. Seems the brand isn’t as well known and I see old threads on people saying theirs are coming. Hoping to get current owner POV.
 

NudeLobster

Member
Hi! I am contemplating the Bush Company Alpha tent, and I wanted to hear form current owners.

1. What other tents did you consider? Why did the Alpha win out?
2. How has it held up to use? Any points of wear you see?
3. How comfortable is the tent to use and sleep in? Any improvements or enhancements you would recommend?
4. Anyone have one of these on truck? Pics?
5. How was your install? Did you do it yourself or pay to have it done?

Basically looking for owner reviews and impressions on the tent. Seems the brand isn’t as well known and I see old threads on people saying theirs are coming. Hoping to get current owner POV.


1. What other tents did you consider? Why did the Alpha win out?
- I considered Alu-cab 3.1 and Camp King. I decided on the Alpha due to the large wrap around rain fly, the height it opens too, and general list of features and quality. I got the bush tent 20% off which helped seal the deal. I think I would personally still go with the bush at full price.

For many, the ease of the slot interfaces on the bush tent for mounting accessories is a very nice feature, but it does add substantial weight over other tents (roughly 25 lbs I would guess), as there is essentially two whole aluminum tent shells to create the slot gaps. That double tent shell to create the slot rails does make a case for the bush to be extremely durable and strong. I personally don't mind the Alu-cab solution of drilling and direct mounting accessories to save weight.

Alu-cab has nice insulated roof where as Alpha is only insulated on the floor. The Alpha light switch is on the ceiling, where Alu-cab has a switch at the head of the bed so you don't have to get up. I decided these could be easy DIY fixes (upholstered insulation foam panels to velcro to the ceiling between the cross bars, and inline switch wired up at the head of the bed). The new Alu-cab ladder is sweet with the double wide rungs. The way Alu-cab has the canvas door zipper to the mesh door such that you can open both with one zipper motion of the mesh door is a nice feature. I did not like the Alu-cab side awning interfaces. An aussie bloke posted a video showing a leading edge of the side awnings not being completely sealed to the main tent fabric. they seem a bit laborious to set up every time you open the tent. Camp king was just too expensive and nothing mind blowing features wise.


2. How has it held up to use? Any points of wear you see?
- Cant say definitively. I've had it a month but have spent 18 days in it already. nothing to note.

3. How comfortable is the tent to use and sleep in? Any improvements or enhancements you would recommend?
-tent is fantastically comfortable. The height is great for changing clothes fully standing. The mattress is actually the first RTT mattress I've laid on that seemed viable. with that said, I left the mattress behind at CVT as I put in an exped megamat duo LW+ inflatable mattress. It is very comfortable, adjustable, and deflating allows us to pack more bedding and all our clothes up in the tent to free up space in the truck.

-It did kind of irk me that a power harness is NOT included with the tent, you're on the hook to make or buy a harness that runs from the tent to your battery source.

-The elastic straps that pin the rolled up doors/windows open could stand to be tighter/shorter to really hold the rolled up doors out of the way more.

-The dual canvas doors on either side of the mesh window is fantastic for weatherproofing.

-The vent at the peak is great but I wish you could unzip the mesh from those vents as two layers of mesh on each of the tent fabrics still blocks a bit of airflow.

-As with any RTT, I cut off every single metal zipper pull and replaced with synthetic cord pull tabs so that they don't jingle in the wind.


4. Anyone have one of these on truck? Pics?
-Mine is on a GX470. I think the guys at Midguard Adventure have a customer with one on a ZR2.

1633554282513.png

5. How was your install? Did you do it yourself or pay to have it done?
-I paid to have it installed at CVT Las Vegas because shipping was going to cost more than the install. They charged $300. I had it installed the first day of a 2 week camping trip. The tent actually isn't bad, no different than installing any other RTT for the given roof platform. They had my tent on in 2 hours, mostly due to low clearances and difficulties with my super low profile cross bars. The Awning install took nearly 4 hours because they had to install it twice. They failed to test fit the first time before they cut the holes in the awning bag for the brackets and thus when they finally got the awning up the first time, it wouldn't clear the corner of the tent to wrap around. fully test fit and mark your awning bracket locations before you cut/install the awning bag!

Overall, we love the tent and awning combo. It is fantastic. It is quite heavy, and I know this sounds insane, but my truck really doesn't drive any noticeably different than my old hardshell and batwing awning, despite being an additional 75 lbs.

Hit me with any other questions you have.
 

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concretejungle

Adventurer
-It did kind of irk me that a power harness is NOT included with the tent, you're on the hook to make or buy a harness that runs from the tent to your battery source.


The Awning install took nearly 4 hours because they had to install it twice. They failed to test fit the first time before they cut the holes in the awning bag for the brackets and thus when they finally got the awning up the first time, it wouldn't clear the corner of the tent to wrap around. fully test fit and mark your awning bracket locations before you cut/install the awning bag!


[/QUOTE]

I find these two comments really interesting. It's almost like they build this awesome product but don't quite button up the final touches. I felt that way and still do about the awning. Having to punch holes in a waterproof bag and hope you get it right is not really OK in my book for an awning of that price. I did actually email Simon and said that.
 

Kiomon

Adventurer
thanks for the replies. @NudeLobster this was super thorough and very helpful. I have the tent now and I am working on fitting it. It’s freaking heavy but looks well made. I didn’t realize it would have CVT branding on it, as I bought from bush co.
 

alia176

Explorer
Anybody understand the logic behind their cover system vs all others out there? I don't get it. Nobody else makes you cut holes in an awning cover and I don't think they are any less water resistant but maybe I'm missing something!
 

concretejungle

Adventurer
Anybody understand the logic behind their cover system vs all others out there? I don't get it. Nobody else makes you cut holes in an awning cover and I don't think they are any less water resistant but maybe I'm missing something!

I got lucky with mine... it arrived damaged, so there were a few tears on the end from shipping damage, very small but still there. However, after installing the awning I opened it up to show it off after a rain and water dripped out of the bag. I emailed the bush company and they said if you don't cut the holes really small then it will leak. I was shocked by that honestly.

They were sending me a new bag anyway because of the tears which I think was lucky because if not, I would probably have to buy another bag and try to cut microscopic holes in it for the bolts.
 

NudeLobster

Member
Anybody understand the logic behind their cover system vs all others out there? I don't get it. Nobody else makes you cut holes in an awning cover and I don't think they are any less water resistant but maybe I'm missing something!
It's actually not all that uncommon for awning models from different brands as well. I don't know why the design choice won't die off, though. I don't know a single end user who likes it.
 

CurtB

New member
We're a few weeks in with ours...only spent one night so far. Quality seems top notch...better than Alu-Cab IMHO. The double layer tent was a major factor for us.

We converted our FrontRunner rack and used just the crossbars as load bars kept the feet. This is on our old FJ60 so we have plenty of drip rail to mount on. We kept our AluCab awning which was a challenge to get mounted but finally worked it out. I paid Rex at MidGuard Adventure to do the install.

I'm kind of concerned about the CVT/BushCompany relationship. Feels like it is falling apart and CVT is discounting the tent while BushCompany isn't.
 

CurtB

New member
Also, I'm not super crazy about how the ladder attaches. It will twist under my weight. I'm either going to modify or replace. I think Alu-Cab has a better ladder & attachment mechanism.
 

NudeLobster

Member
Also, I'm not super crazy about how the ladder attaches. It will twist under my weight. I'm either going to modify or replace. I think Alu-Cab has a better ladder & attachment mechanism.

I've found the L- slot ladder attachment pretty great and on par with alucab, though the double width angled rungs of the alucab ladder do seem much better. I can't quite picture how the ladder would twist due to the attachment mechanism (though I don't doubt you!)
 

CurtB

New member
I've found the L- slot ladder attachment pretty great and on par with alucab, though the double width angled rungs of the alucab ladder do seem much better. I can't quite picture how the ladder would twist due to the attachment mechanism (though I don't doubt you!)
I'll try to get a picture of what I'm talking about. Basically, because the ladder is held in the center only, if I'm not centered on the ladder at the higher rungs, the ladder twists back so that one corner of the ladder rests against the shell of the tent. I'm about 250lbs and it seems like that is going to break the ladder...
 

NudeLobster

Member
I'll try to get a picture of what I'm talking about. Basically, because the ladder is held in the center only, if I'm not centered on the ladder at the higher rungs, the ladder twists back so that one corner of the ladder rests against the shell of the tent. I'm about 250lbs and it seems like that is going to break the ladder...

Oh I'm starting to get a picture of what's happening. I'm just over 200, I always keep the ladder pretty vertical such that the bush bracket laysflat on the tent anyways. I feel really sketchy when RTT ladders are kicked out. Another up for the Alucab ladder, the canted steps make that more bearable.
 

CurtB

New member
Oh I'm starting to get a picture of what's happening. I'm just over 200, I always keep the ladder pretty vertical such that the bush bracket laysflat on the tent anyways. I feel really sketchy when RTT ladders are kicked out. Another up for the Alucab ladder, the canted steps make that more bearable.
Yep. I can't go full vertical unless I put only toes on the ladder and that presents a whole other range of issues. I've got a couple of rubber blocks that I'm going to try putting next to the ladder mount which may help a bit.

I'm surprised there aren't any "solid" or "foldable" ladders for these...seems like there are plenty of ways to fit one on.....
 

devlooper

New member
1. What other tents did you consider? Why did the Alpha win out?
2. How has it held up to use? Any points of wear you see?
3. How comfortable is the tent to use and sleep in? Any improvements or enhancements you would recommend?
4. Anyone have one of these on truck? Pics?
5. How was your install? Did you do it yourself or pay to have it done?

1- I considered the CVT equivalent to this tent autohome, and James baroud. The overall robustness of the tent and the rear awning.
2 - it’s held up great. Owned it for a year and have many trips under my belt.
3 - mattress is lacking imo especially for the price of the tent. It could be much better and I’m planning on replacing it at some point.
4- not on a truck I have mine mounted on an suv
5- did it my self.

I’ve written a pretty extensive review of the tent here on my site if you’d like to see nearly every aspect of the tent!


I hope this helps!
 

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